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Why It’s a Great Time to be an Artist or Writer

July21
Author: c. b. murphy

If my title is not cynical, what can I possibly mean when funds are being cut to non-profits, when people look twice at the cost of theater tickets and stay home to watch broadcast television, when even masterpieces fail to bring in money for Christies? All luxury or nonessential purchases like books and art will be scaled back. Strapped corporations and executives are dumping their vanity collections onto the prestige auction houses who are seeing prices and attendance fall precipitously. Many small art-related businesses will fail, including bookstores, small theater companies, galleries, even museums. Surely this is a time for a great wailing to arise in the land of the creatives, who have already pinned their last hopes on a new W.P.A program that will surely be announced soon.

So why in Picasso's name would this be a good time to be an artist or writer? Let's start with Bush or should I say Bush-hating. Artists and writers have been a disproportionate amount of effort "fighting the man." The stance, however justified, made it easy to structure plots and feel good about poorly realized efforts because the artist was focused on the urgent need to topple the evil regime. How much subtlety was required?

With a new dynamic Democratic administration firmly gripping power in Washington, there is no longer a need to waste any more effort haranguing the public about the war in Iraq, and his other unpopular positions. Soon "his" mistakes will be "our" mistakes as Democrats innovate and/or borrow from the previous administration and we will only have our own to blame. Only the farthest left of us (like the ones already unhappy with Obama's practicality) will continue to use artistic outrage as their main source for inspiration.

I am hoping the whole concept of "artist as politician" phase will come to an end. Sure, we can still support our causes of global warming, corporatism, land mines, and nuclear disarmament if we like, but adults in Washington will be doing their best to represent the constituencies that have promoted these causes. We no longer will have to shout at them, though there is no guarantee that we will like their solutions or pace. Nevertheless, artists will find the protest stance somewhat emptier, somewhat less compelling and, hopefully will be moving on to new, less knee-jerk, less repetitive, less strident content.

Back to the issue of business failures in the art community. It's not that I think the art world is too fat and will benefit from a crash diet, but it's worth thinking about who the market for art has been and who it might become. Art has been, in a sense, also feeding at the trough of the high finance world. How many people can afford a painting over say $10,000 (and I'm stretching here). Clearly the middle class doesn't buy much original art. Why not? Because the content (often incomprehensible but supported by museums and academics) is largely non-compelling to average people.

In the literary world, where the readership is shrinking, agents and publishers are running scared. They want another J. K. Rowling phenomenon but aren't sure where and how to find it. Meanwhile a tsunami of self publishers and bloggers are going around the publishing world for their reading. Both the sellers and makers of art need to accept this challenge. If they have something to say, how should they say it and where? New forms, hybrids and experiments are springing up and the world of criticism (e.g. The New York Times Book Review) are holding up their noses in hopes that the riff-raff will all go away soon and everyone will return to network television, Broadway shows and industry-picked "geniuses" in the print world. That's not going to happen. People are entertaining themselves in new ways, from YouTube, to bloggers, to game designers, to "low-brow" art that embraces illustrators, graffiti artists and tattooists as "real" artists. Some see this as a devastating collapse of "high" culture, I see it as evidence that in many ways the arts have not been doing their job.

Music might be an exception as well as an example. While mainstream media continues to site declining CD sales something we're supposed to fret about, an explosion of interest in music is happening all over the world. The internet is allowing us to create our own custom radio stations (e.g. Pandora), iTunes is making it easier to buy exactly what we want, and portable music devices have freed us from Big Radio and Big Music companies. This is partly because, unlike say painting or the literary novel (the bad ones not the good ones), the general public has never given up its love of music and never will. So music will lead the way. Will there be fewer superstar groups but more people creating the music they love? I hope so. Will it be difficult to find the new geniuses if they are not picked out of the crowd and promoted by Big Music? Maybe, maybe not. Most likely the internet will evolve forms of self criticism which will allow more diverse music to survive as the cost of getting that music to the public continues to decline. Overall will less money go to music because people are used to getting it free? Maybe. Inevitably good stuff costs money, think organic produce. People pay more everyday for both the label and the confidence in its quality and taste, even if they can't prove it or taste it.

People will pay to be entertained. Collecting original art on a small scale could conceivably be something people do again once their more confident of their taste. How many people worry about their taste in music needing outside experts to tell them whether or not it's good? I know what I like is the rule. In fact, for millions, if its popular it's already time to dig deeper and find the creatives (the new new) that have already been there and done that and are now doing something altogether new.

So we might be on the edge of a burst in creativity. I'll make my final point be referencing an economically difficult but extremely creative period another country experienced: The Weimar Republic. This from Wikipedia:

"The 1920s saw a massive cultural revival in Germany. It was, arguably, the most innovative period of cultural change in Germany. Innovative street theatre brought plays to the public, the cabaret scene became very popular. Women were americanised, wearing makeup, short hair, smoking and breaking out of tradition. Music was created with a practical purpose, such as Schoenberg's 'atonality' and there was a new type of architecture taught at 'Bauhaus' schools. Art reflected the new ideas of the time with artists such as Grosz being fined for defaming the military and for blasphemy."

There's plenty of opportunity out there, folks, stop whining and get busy!

About the Author:

writer, painter, anthropologist

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Why It's a Great Time to be an Artist or Writer

Your Creative Genius – How To Tap It For Success

July21
Author: Abhishek Agarwal

We are all creative beings just as the ultimate being is the divine creator. To create something is to bring into existence something that did not exist before. Creative genius comes when you bring into existence something that will enhance the lives of all who encounter your creation, including yourself. In order to tap your creative genius, there are a few considerations that you should be aware of.

There is one thing that your creative energy demands a lot of and that is time. You have to allow yourself enough space for your creative energies to flow. Some people are fortunate to have a form of employment which requires them to apply their creative minds on a regular basis. If you are a teacher you will continually creating new ways in which to impart knowledge to individual children. The best teachers are always creative geniuses. Others of us are in jobs that only require a certain set of skills. After we have acquired the skills we keep on applying them over and over again without much room for creative thinking. If you fall into this category then you will need to set aside separate time in which to work creatively.

Finding extra time is not always easy with modern daily schedules. Work, travel, family, health, are all things which take precedence over our time. After these priorities are attended to we are often too spent to begin thinking creatively about anything. The problem is that when we are not able to apply our creativity, which is an inherent drive within all of us, we become dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Sometimes we encounter disgruntled people in the work place and those who appear to hate their jobs. These people are often expressing the deep dissatisfaction they feel at not being able to express themselves more creatively in their lives.

To avoid becoming dissatisfied you must apply yourself creatively. The best way to do this, if you have a very busy schedule, is to channel your creative energy into those things you have to do everyday. A good example of this is food. Cooking is an excellent way to get creative and many of us have to do it everyday. Instead of preparing the same old meals everyday or relying on supermarket ready prepared selections you can create new ways in which you and your family enjoy food and stay healthy. If you travel to work everyday by bus or train you might use this bit of regularly occurring time to read. Reading inspires creativity and you can use the reading time to read something that will teach you something new about what you are interested in.

Although being creative is time consuming it can also be very relaxing. After a hard day at work, instead of slumping in front of the TV for the next 3 hours, you can use this relaxation period to apply yourself creatively. If painting or flower arranging or writing is your thing, this is a very good time to allocate toward pursuing such creative hobbies.

Those who do have a bit of extra time to spend being creative can consider attending a course or group that specialises in their chosen creative pursuit. Other people who are interested in the same thing as you are and who express themselves creatively in a similar way to you, provide a wonderful resource of creative energy which you can draw on to fire up your own creative thinking. Other members will be drawing from you too, everyone contributes and everyone benefits.

It is always a good strategy, for those who are able, to take time to visit somewhere else away from home. If you are able to get away to areas of outstanding natural beauty for example, you should find that the environment inspires you creatively. It is no coincidence that many artists have produced some of their best work in some of the world's most fabulous locations.

The way to tap your creativity is to try to think creatively as much as you can even while occupied with mundane, non-creative activities. You should also understand that creative energy needs to be fed by time; you must find as much time as you can to apply your creative thinking otherwise you might not blossom into the creative genius you are capable of being.

About the Author:

Abhishek is a Self-Improvement expert and he has got some great Self-Improvement Secrets up his sleeves! Download his FREE 81 Pages Ebook , "Self Improvement Made Easy!" from his website http://www.Positive-You.com/775/index.htm . Only limited Free Copies available.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Your Creative Genius - How To Tap It For Success

Why Artist Development Makes a Difference

July21
Author: Artistopia Staff

Artist development in the music industry has evolved over time, leaving most of the early progress to the artist themselves. For the most part, the days are gone when a record label developed up and coming talent. The question continuously arises for those young artists, "where do I start"? With the advent of the Internet, the possibilities are mind boggling.

Many artists put in their mission statement, simply that they want a record deal, thinking that is all they need to succeed for career in music. Most don't have a clue what it takes to get that deal, let alone maintain that career.

Artist development is a huge area overlooked by far too many artists and bands. Let's explore the question, "What is artist development"?

A record label A&R rep once "discovered" fresh new faces in clubs, bars or word of mouth and would then support them, cultivate their creativeness, build up their fan base, and guide their direction with the intent of turning them into superstars. All of this of course, was with the intent of selling those 45's, LPs, cassette's and CDs. Gradually, many labels moved more into product development, which meant they are focused more on the immediacy of sales of the latest CD (product) released, and not bringing the artist up to that point. And more often than not, naive artists were at the labels mercy.

In this Internet age, it is more the artist or band themselves that must build the quality sound that is ready as a commercially viable product. On top of that, they need to have an already established fan base, basic music business skills, perhaps even the early music sales of a well produced CD. Labels are looking for pre-packaged, very talented musicians that are already showing their value.

A music career is a charted path to follow. Artist development involves all the issues surrounding and arising from that charted path, and crosses into knowledge of product development the ultimate sale of the music.

Checklist on what artist and product development necessitate:

  • Exceptional vocals, musicianship and/or songwriting skills

  • Continued education and enhancement of musical skills

  • Quality equipment

  • Performance ability

  • Image creation and maintenance

  • Plan of action, goal setting

  • Exceptional promotion materials, including photographs, press releases and artwork

  • Business management skills

  • Marketing, publicity, and promotion knowledge, online and offline

  • Professional management

  • Basic knowledge of recording, producing, engineering, and mastering

  • Basic knowledge of manufacturing, distribution, and sales online, brick and mortar and air-play

  • Good choices in members, staff and advisors

  • Physical and mental preparedness

  • Basic knowledge of finances, accounting

  • Law and legal issues: publishing, copyrighting, trademarks, and an attorney

  • Alternative career options even athletes need to have other options!

Tending to all areas of your music career may make the difference between a one hit wonder and longevity in this business. It's been said, "If you think this is a piece of cake, you better go bake one." The music business, again, is a business. Businesses need to make money. That's worth repeating - the music business is a BUSINESS . Take the time to find out all you can about each of these steps in your journey.

That being said, an up and coming artist must begin somewhere...and if a career in the music business is the goal, then any naiveté must be addressed immediately! Knowledge is power. Power gives you leverage. And who knows...that entrepreneurial artist may just find they don't need that particular record deal after all.

About the Author:

Artistopia - The Ultimate Artist Development Resource http://www.artistopia.com is an artist development service and community on the web providing music artists, songwriters and bands all the tools needed for displaying their talent, music business collaboration, marketing and networking. Online since 2003, Artistopia develops advanced technology solutions that leverage the Internet to both the music artist and music companies respective advantage.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Why Artist Development Makes a Difference

Ways to Positively Impact Other People By Artistic Creation

July21
Author: MarkVictorHansen

Artistic creation is area where our contributions can outlive us.

This arena includes all the various art forms. The world of art is vast, including music, painting, singing, dancing, sculpting, architecture, crafts, etc.

Art in all of its forms can touch the human heart and leave an indelible impression that lasts for generations.

Today the world still marvels and wonders at the music of Mozart, Bach, and Pachelbel; the paintings of Rembrant and Van Gogh; the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright; the sculpture of Michelangelo; and the literature of Homer, Dumas, and Dickens.

In order to create a legacy at the highest level, you must become a well-known expert in your chosen art form and truly influence and touch others with your work.

Bring your soul into your work and leave your mark upon humanity.

Notice that it requires more than just creating the highest-quality art. It also requires that you become well known.

As you embark on becoming an artist, have the wisdom to create alliances with those who can bring your art into the world where a wide audience of people can become acquainted with it.

Become the best artist in your field. And then pick the best marketing person to assist in your legacy journey.

Art is created in the mind of the artist and made manifest in some physical form.

This physical form is capable of outliving the artist, and the impact it creates can continue on through generations yet to come. Being an artist in this way can give you access to living a life that outlives you.

As an artist, whether you simply "sing the song" and bring that music to one person or bring it to many people is your choice. Your "song" can be heard by few or many.

As an artist, how many will you choose to influence?

About the Author:

Mark Victor Hansen, best known as the co-creator of the 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' empire (which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling non-fiction book series ever), is a walking success magnet! Between his books and speeches, Mark has helped countless millions of people become their very best. Visit Mark's 101 E-Book Library at http://www.IdeasThatCanChangeYourLife.com.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Ways to Positively Impact Other People – Artistic Creation

What are your Career Futures With an Art Degree?

July21
Author: Jullie Harvard

Graduates with arts degrees often feel some difficulties to determine their career goal in the initial stage. In general view, most of jobs seem to suit the arts degree graduates but when come to decide a career goal, it seem like hard to define one. Unlike graduates from science and technology fields, graduates from the arts fields feel that their program of study hasn't necessarily prepared them for specific jobs or careers. Many arts degree graduates become apprehensive once graduation approaches.

Are these the facts of art degrees? Is pursuing an art degree a waste of money and will only get you a job flipping burgers? These popular art degree's myths affect many students who are interested in art degrees and they stop moving their step into art fields and force themselves to take science & technology related degrees for a brighter future.

The Facts versus Myths

In actual, the facts are contrary to the popular art degree myths, a variety of career possibilities await art graduates, almost half of all job vacancies available to new graduates are open to students with arts degrees. These employers are particularly interested in transferable skills.

Let review the true facts of these popular art degree myths and you will realize that you are totally employable with your Arts degree and arts degree graduates are really in high demand in the jobs market with well-paying positions.

Myth 1: A Bachelor of Arts degree is not enough to find a well-paying, interesting job. You need to go to Law School, the Faculty of Education, or a technical training institute to be competitive for professional employment.

Fact 1: Based payscales.com salary survey conducted in 2006, average salary for bachelor's arts degree graduates in various job fields at United States are ranging from $32,000 to $55,000 annually, without having any further college or university study.

Myth 2: A Bachelor of Arts degree will get you a job of flipping burgers.

Fact 2: Based recent job survey conducted by a well-known survey company, arts graduates are often employed in a professional or managerial capacity (50 - 81%). This compared favorably with those in Commerce (60%) and those with technical or vocational diplomas from colleges and technical institutes (24 - 35%).

Myth 3: A Bachelor of Arts degree is a waste of time and money and does not earn as much money as a bachelor degree in science and technology.

Fact 3: According to a job survey report from "Express News" of University Alberta, Those with a general arts degree do well in the long term, although initially they may not make as much as graduates of professional faculties, what's really striking is the gains they make over five years, the gap starts to close. This is because Arts graduates emerge with highly developed research, communication, creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are in high demand because they are difficult to teach in the workplace. Many employers want this type of well-rounded employee, who can be trained for more specific skills.

Arts Degree Students Are In Demand

Almost 50% of job markets are opened for students with arts degrees. Many of these jobs are within Arts students' reach upon graduation, particular if they have already identified their unique interests and abilities. Career opportunities for Arts degree graduates are ranging from non-profit, to private business and to government sectors; examples of job titles held by Arts graduates are:

  • Manager
  • Events Planner
  • Advertising Executive
  • Program Coordinator
  • Counselor
  • Marketing Professional
  • Facilitator

In Summary

Arts degree graduates are in demand in the job markets, a variety of career possibilities are awaiting for art degree graduates at a well-paying level and expandable career future.

Jullie Harvard is the author from http://www.studykiosk.com . Find out more information of Arts Degrees offered by Online Universities and what are The Myths & The Facts of Arts Degrees .

About the Author:

Jullie Harvard is the author from http://www.studykiosk.com . Find out more information of Arts Degrees offered by Online Universities and what are The Myths & The Facts of Arts Degrees .

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What are your Career Futures With an Art Degree?

What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

July21
Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

In my 2004 e-book, The Creativity Interviews (details below), I asked 7 questions about the creative process to 19 creative artists from a variety of disciplines.

One of these questions was "what does creativity bring to your life?"

As I'm looking through the answers with new eyes, themes start to pop up in front of me. As you read through these broad themes, and the actual phrases spoken by the artists in the book, consider which ones you identify with most.

Creativity brings adventure, affects my whole life and what's "out there"

Artist spoke of a sense of "exploration", "spontaneity" and "adventure", and that their creativity "brings life to whatever I'm doing". They felt the effects of their creativity on other parts of their life, giving them "unique problem solving opportunities" and "energizing my relationships".

Creativity brings opportunities for self-discovery of what's "in here"

Artists appreciated the "heightened awareness" and increased ability to "understand myself".

Creativity brings connections to people, both in and out of my "tribe"

"I feel I m part of a tribe of free people" was how one artist expressed this sense of connection and of being understood when they're around other artists. Another artist recognized their creativity as a "gift I can share with others" fulfilling the desire for connection in a way that's natural and enjoyable for the artist.

These are hopeful points, considering how isolated and misunderstood many artists feel.

Creativity brings a spiritual connection

Themes of spirituality such as "gratitude", "purity" and "essence" could be heard in some of the answers from artists. One claimed creativity gives them "a glimpse of the spiritual realm", and another described creativity as "a soulful experience".

There was also the idea that creativity brings "a connection to something larger than myself", and "the feeling that I'm 'in the zone', in the flow of life". Many of us connect to our spirituality most easily through being in nature. One artist found that creativity brings a "freedom to recreate what I see in nature".

I think one artist summed up the link between creativity and spirituality by answering with one word: "wonder".

Creativity brings an awakening, a jarring, a sense of delicious discomfort

Though I only heard one answer that fit into this theme one artist felt that creativity brought a "discontinuity" to their life I included it because it really interested me.

What about those moments of torment before the dissonant chord resolves itself, before the elements and colours of a painting "come together", before the ideas for a story or article make any sense.

And what about the plain fact that there is ALWAYS something we won't know how to do, always something more to learn, always a creative idea who's execution is out of our reach because our skills haven't caught up to it yet. Is that partly what keeps us going?

Creativity brings a return to home, a "normalcy"

"Creativity IS my life" and "creativity is unavoidable". For one artist, creativity is "a reason to live", and for another "it helps me live". Creativity is what we know, and when we're expressing it our TRUE selves are shining through. As one artist commented, it's a "relief".

Another artist noted that creativity often brings "more creativity". Which make perfect sense when you apply the law of attraction the principle that states that whatever you focus on is what you'll attract into your life.

Creativity brings a sense of self-worth and identity

For the artists I spoke to, creativity brings a "reward", "satisfaction", "pride" and "accomplishment" It contributes to their "self-esteem" and "sense of self and identity".

For artists, who often feel so misunderstood and different from other people, creativity provides "a way of explaining myself to the world". Creativity celebrates the fact that we're different, by showing us "a sense of purpose" and "a sense of my uniqueness".

One artist said that creativity "puts me in touch with the core and essence of my being".

Creativity heals me

As a music therapist, this theme was not surprising to me. Not only are the arts amazing therapeutic tools to use in treatment, creativity can be extremely therapeutic for the person expressing it.

Some of the therapeutic benefits of creativity that the artists shared with me were "relaxation", "centeredness", "possibility", "hope" and "connection with self". Creativity "lifts me from my sorrows" and is "a way to translate my hopes & feelings."

Creativity brings happiness, energy and power

The "endorphin rush" that one artist described was echoed by many as "joy", "energy, vitality it s a rush", "pleasure", "magic", "fullness", "happiness", "passion" and "a high". Creativity is "uplifting & motivating" and gives "the impetus to push further" and "a sense of power".

What does creativity bring to YOUR life? What do you miss the most when you're not actively expressing your creative ideas? What's the first thing you notice that changes in your life when you're in the "creative flow"?

Naming the gifts of your creativity can help to re-ignite your passion for your creative work and can excite you into courageous action. Thinking about these gifts can also put a mysterious smile on your face while you're traveling through the other parts of your life.

Whatever you're doing, whether it's taking care of life's little details and obligations or taking care of other people's needs you can remind yourself that you're one of the lucky ones with access to creativity.

You have this incredible source of adventure, self-discovery, connection, spirituality, awakening, normalcy, self-worth, identity, healing, happiness, energy and power.

This article originally appeared on the Creativity Portal http://www.creativity-portal.com in August 2005.

C Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. For your copy of the Creativity Interviews, visit: http://www.genuinecoaching.com/creativity-interviews.html

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

July21
Author: Mary McNeil

If you want to lead an existence which is not just rich in creative thought, but which also produces regular and recognized creative output, you need to design your life so that it supports your creativity. As the writer Oriah Mountain Dreamer observes: "The artist's life is simply an ordinary human life that is consciously choreographed to support ongoing creativity in both you and those around you."

So if you're going to make creative output a practical reality, what are the elements you need to consider as important ingredients in the recipe for your creative success?

Famous achievers in an array of creative fields have written books revealing much about what it takes to live a creatively successful and productive life. Each one describes their individual creative practices, challenges, connections and stories. And while there is much that is unique about each account, there are also many common threads weaving their way through the genre. Here are four of the themes which appear with regularity...

** Don't wait for circumstances to be perfect before you get started.

Producing creative output is a process of starting over and over and over again. Every single time you come to your work, you're required to make another beginning. This is a constant challenge for most creative people. No matter how much you love your creative work once you're in the flow, the struggle to get started rarely goes away.

The temptation to find reasons to procrastinate is strong. That voice in your head can be particularly persuasive. The one that says: 'the time isn't right... I don't have the correct materials... there's no space to work in... I'm not in the best frame of mind... I might get interrupted...' All of these objections may have some truth behind them, but if you don't overrule them, you'll never get started.

Progressing your creative work means creating in the middle of things. Whilst being aware that there are chores to be done, calls to be made, the trivia of life to be attended to, you have to choose periods of time when your creative efforts take the top spot on your list of priorities. If you wait until everything's perfect, you'll simply never get started. And if you never get started, the obvious result is that you'll never produce anything.

** Don't rely on inspiration - build appropriate structure to support your creativity.

Being inspired is a wonderful experience. It can give you wings to produce fabulous creative output. But inspiration can't, unfortunately, be relied upon.

Creative activity needs to have continuity, regularity and a structure to support it. That doesn't mean a rigid structure that's more likely to stifle than to stimulate your imagination. It means supportive routines and practices which, when thoughtfully constructed and utilized will encourage you to get working away on your creative projects and entice your inspiration out to play as you do so.

There will be plenty of days when you don't feel even the tiniest trace of inspiration. These are the days when your support structure will see you through. Your job is simply to show up. If you don't show up and get started, your inspiration won't either. The prolific British composer, John Rutter, was once asked when and where he gets his best ideas. He replied without missing a beat: "When I'm working".

** Be prepared to produce low-grade output more often than top quality work.

The only way to learn and to improve is to experiment. If you want to master your craft you have to practise it. And when you set about practising with enthusiasm, you'll produce any amount of what you might class as inferior quality output. It's important not to allow your judgment of it to stop you in your tracks. Instead, appreciate the progress that you're making and see the improvements as you keep experimenting and learning.

Yes, it's wonderful to produce top quality output, but the kind of output that teaches you the most and develops your skills is, in fact, the substandard. Treat your less magnificent results as encouragement to try again and to improve upon them. Celebrate your turkeys!

** Allow your creativity to change you.

Creative endeavour can and will move you along the path of spiritual and personal growth. A willingness to embrace the changes that it brings about in you as a person and in your life will allow your creative output to develop simultaneously. The two are interwoven. If you attempt to contain or to control the changes that your creative work is nurturing in you, beware! For you run the risk of settling for a smaller, lesser version of the full, glorious, connected self you could be.

Creative work that stems from deep personal connection has tremendous power to reach and to touch others too. As you are changed by your art, so your art can change the world.

Naomi Wolf describes the power of the creative act particularly expressively: "the making of a beautiful thing cracks open the painful or ugly ordinary world, and then something amazing shines through, which you have forever; which can make you blind with tears."

About the Author:

If you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, the practical support of a coach can make all the difference. Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with artists, writers and musicians, coaching and supporting them as they make creative output a practical reality.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

What you Need to Know About Being a Self-supporting Artist or Designer

July21
Author: Carolyn McFann

What is it like to be a freelance artist, and what exactly do you study to become one? I will tell you what courses I took in college that were useful to me later as a professional, and what I needed to know beyond my college education. There are many facets to being a successful artist, many of which aren't taught in art school.

First of all, become well skilled in color theory, or, how to use color effectively. Using color is important especially to painters, interior designers and anyone who needs to choose colors for clients. There are many books on the subject, but make sure to learn about the Color Wheel, and buy the expensive colored paper packs called Pantone, to experiment with color usage. With color you can create moods, illusions and strongly influence advertisements. It is powerful to know color well so don't underestimate it.

Take figure drawing seriously. It teaches you the discipline and confidence of drawing live models quickly and accurately. Whether you go for minute detail like I do, or suggestion of a figure, drawing the nude is a wonderful way to know the human body and how to express it well.

Learn how to use lines and textures. One two-dimensional design teacher I had, assigned us to do pages and pages of just different lines and others of different textures. Then, we did a major drawing using those textures and lines altogether. It was a good way to learn how to add interest to your artwork, and to create different effects. I use these techniques in my illustrations to this day.

Try different mediums, just to get experience in them, such as metalsmithing, textiles, glassmaking, and others. This will give you an appreciation for other crafts and teach you different angles of the art world. It also gives you practise in design, color and other disciplines, in a different realm. When I look at a blown glass vase, I know how it's constructed. I also know how glass is made, from silica powder in batches similar to cooking a recipe. Creating a bowl from a flat piece of brass is something I found relaxing and satisfying. Try new things. When you visit galleries in the future, you will be more aware of how the items in them are created, by skilled artisans.

Learn business. I cannot stress this enough. My school didn't allow me to double major in business and in art, though I wanted to. So, after art school, I enrolled in business courses on my own, and have been building upon that knowledge ever since. Learn how to market yourself, customer service, how to do accounting and how to be skilled on the computer. These are skills that will help you to work the promotional end of your business, until you find someone else to do it for you. As it stands now, I let my agent handle the selling of my original work, but still manage my own business dealings for my online gallery. Make sure to keep up with the latest trends on computer marketing, and software. It pays to market your business well, so arm yourself with as much practical business knowledge as possible.

Be very disciplined about your work time. In college, it is easy to get sidetracked by friends, parties and other things. I used to work hard then go out with friends, until I wore myself out and ended up with mononucleosis from sleeping too little. It took awhile to recuperate, and I learned to pace myself better. Take care of yourself. Be disciplined, and don't overdo it when you go out with friends. When school is over and you are on your own, the good habits you have established will definitely come into play.

Attend gallery openings, art fairs, and other art venues. See how other professional artists sell their work. Learn from those who are most successful. Ask questions and take notes. Much of the education for a freelancer starts after college. Join professional artists' organizations and participate in discussions. The more people you know, the more support they will give you when you need it.

Being a freelance artist isn't easy, it takes persistence, resourcefulness and cunning. Give yourself a head start by accepting freelance assignments from customers as early as possible. I was taking orders steadily from customers from the age of 16. And the business grew as I grew. I was naiive in the beginning, but in time, my skills increased and it got easier. It is possible to make money as a freelancer. Don't give up, take a job or two on the side when needed for extra money, but never give up on your vision. It will grow naturally, the more you learn and apply your knowledge. Go with the flow, give it time and you will be an independent, fully functioning art professional. I highly recommend it, and wouldn't have things any other way.

About the Author:

Carolyn McFann is a scientific and nature illustrator, who owns Two Purring Cats Design Studio, which can be seen at: http://www.cafepress.com/twopurringcats . Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Carolyn is a seasoned, well-traveled artist, writer and photographer. She has lived and worked in Cancun, Mexico, among other interesting professional assignments in other countries. Clients include nature parks, museums, scientists, corporations and private owners. She has been the subject of tv interviews, articles for newspapers and other popular media venues.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What you Need to Know About Being a Self-supporting Artist or Designer

The Four Pillars for Artist Success

July21
Author: Greg Katz

Everyone feels that the artist life is glamorous and easy, but that's the furthest from the truth. The number of artists making their living from their art is small and those who do have a sustainable business work very hard splitting their lives between creativity and business.

If you want to create an "art business" the four pillars of success are: vision; challenge; perseverance and motivation. Developing actions surrounding the four pillars will give you a giant leap from "Starving Artist" to "Successful Artist".

Vision As artists we have over developed right hemispheres of our brain so creativity is not in short supply. The interesting thing is that we don't use that creativity as it pertains to our business. Having a vision for your business will enable you to begin a different type of portfolio, a business portfolio.

Take the time to be specific about how you want your art to serve in your life. If your art is your bread and butter then you must treat it that way, with respect and lots of elbow grease. If your art is an avocation, then what do you want to accomplish and by when.

It's important to develop the road map to success or you'll wander aimlessly, you'll become discouraged and you'll put out the fire better known as your dream. Set an intention and once you've set the intention build upon that intention. Each action you take should support your vision, shoring up the first pillar of success.

Challenge If the business of art were easy then every artist would be successful. When we challenge ourselves creatively we are looking for new ways to express ourselves. The same is true in our business, the challenge is to show potential buyers that you wear more than one hat and you do it with conviction.

One of the key challenges for artists is not confidence in their work, but in how they present their work to the world. Artists are notorious for engaging in conversations from a one down position. We feel as if there is a caste system and we struggle to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur. Standing in the role of entrepreneur takes practice. It takes support from others and encouragement from peers. When you take yourself seriously as an "artrepreneur" others will follow suit.

Perseverance I've heard it said that it takes three years to become an overnight sensation. I believe that to be true and I see it as I attend gallery openings, poetry readings and other venues of artistic expression. Those who have separated themselves from the pack have one thing in common, perseverance.

The successful artist has to be focused and find renewable sources of energy to keep moving forward on the journey. The primary factor that hinders perseverance is isolation. When artists have a support system they are more inclined to stay the course toward their vision. They are able to unload the emotional detours that arise from not getting selected for a show or not getting a call back for an audition. We gain strength by the cheerleading squad we've assembled in our lives. Create a success team to help you navigate your unchartered waters and you'll be amazed at the results.

Motivation You would think creating beautiful work would be enough motivation, but that is the external motivating factor. How do you keep the internal flames that propel you forward burning bright? Reward yourself! We all love rewards and by creating our own incentive program keeps us in the game.

Having mile markers along the way that show your success in measurable outcomes is essential for maintaining motivation. Ever wonder why nonprofit organizations or religious institutions create a huge thermometer during their fundraising drives? It's to show the public the progression of their mission. As they get closer to the top it draws others who want to be a part of putting the organization over the top. Create your own gauge and make it visible so it stays in your consciousness. When you hit the top of the gauge be sure and shout it from the rooftops because you've shown that motivation yields results and that is evident by your success, both personal and professional.

Greg Katz is a national juried artist and the owner of the Artist Success Studio, a virtual artist community that transforms "Successful Artist' from oxymoron to declarative fact.

About the Author:
Greg Katz is a national juried artist and the owner of the Artist Success Studio, a virtual artist community that transforms \\\"Successful Artist\\\' from oxymoron to declarative fact. Greg can be reached at 720-851-6736 or visit his website at www.artistsuccessstudio.com.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - The Four Pillars for Artist Success

posted under Artful Careers, Balancing Life And Art, Presentation Is Everything, Promote Yourself Online, The Business of Art | Comments Off on The Four Pillars for Artist Success

The Impact of Environmental Artists in Artful Change for Green Artists

July21
Author: Vikram Kumar

If you are an artist in any field of art, what is your personal goal for your talent? Would it be for fame? Would it be about mere expressions? Or would it be about making a difference? There is a saying that talents are given for the benefit of others, not for oneself. If you believe in this saying, you most likely use your talent to make a difference in your community.

Fortunately, there are artists who have the heart to organize with other artists for a cause. The cause could be anything from promoting health and supporting children to preserving the environment. Whatever the cause may be, the important thing is that artists are encouraged to express talents not just for the own satisfaction but also for the benefit of the community. With such an organization, there is a chance for change and awareness that makes the world a better place to live.

Organizing Environmental Artists

One organization that gathers artists for a cause is Artful Change. This organization includes a group of environmental artists, whose main goal is to deal with environmental issues. The activities of the Artful Change are geared towards environmental awareness, preservation, and the creation of green and clean environment.

With such goals in mind, environmental artists can express their talents and use their talents to help make the environment clean and green. Their talents could be in music, performing arts, visual arts, graphics, literature, and many others. With such varied talents available, the preservation of the environment for the next generation would surely be possible.

How Environmental Artists Can Help

The impact of our daily activities to the environment comes in little things. Throwing trash just anywhere builds an unclean environment. In the same way, little things that green artists can do will have a great impact in the environment.

Artful Change is packed with activities for environmental cause. Green artists who are good in the field of music can organize concerts and use the earnings from the concert for environmental activities. Also, Artful Change can facilitate programs for the poets. They can organize workshops on how to make readable and effective poetry. It could be about the importance of taking care of environment. Or they can target a specific topic like global warming. Painters can make murals that depict a certain environmental issue.

The Impact Is Rewarding

As a group of environmental artists, Artful Change can organize and facilitate just about any form of activity that would uplift the environment. They can make a huge impact to the environment even in the small things that they do. The important thing is there is impact. The talent is not just for personal use but also for the benefit of the community and even the world.

When green artists make use of their talents for a cause, there is true reward. The reward may be far more valuable than material things such as wealth or fame. It is making an environment that is fun and clean to live in. Plus, it is preserving the planet for the next generations. Those who understand such incomparable reward would surely find Artful Change a good place to join. Green artists would not just express their talents here. They would also make an impact in the world.

About the Author:

Artful Change is a place for environmental artists . In this organization, green artists can express their talents at the same time make an impact for the environment.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - The Impact of Environmental Artists in Artful Change for Green Artists

Self Love–Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

July21
Author: Suzi Elton

Self love is a topic that is almost never discussed. It's not even a concept for the majority of people. What does healthy self love mean, and how does it lead to healing, health and success?

By the nature of childhood (dependency and necessity of learning how life works) many of us humans end up being fed a steady stream of criticism, rebuke, and the opinions of others. We are told how to think, how to feel and how to behave. We are strongly encouraged to conform to standard behavior and seldom allowed to express our uniqueness. We are told to hug and kiss adults we don't want to interact with. We are not allowed or encouraged to make our own decisions.

We are told how to "decide". If we think we know the right thing to do, we are told what the right thing to do would be. The worst part though is being consistently criticized, abused and humiliated, scorned or belittled. This leads us to develop a constant mantra of negative self talk that can follow us all the days of our life unless we purposefully "decommission" it. This is often the most critical part of learning to develop self love. Here are some ideas on developing self love.

1.) Realize that many child rearing techniques are well intentioned, but often end up creating self hating adults who do not trust themselves, and parrot the opinions of the adults who reared them. This in unfortunate, but often is simply the result of parental lack of skill. It is our job to do what it takes to create healthy self respect and self love for ourselves if our upbringing did not provide this. This is easily said but not as easily done.

2.) The most important thing to do is to develop awareness of your negative self talk and replace it with supportive self talk. Start by "capturing" the negative statements you "hear" in your head. Write them down so that you can see exactly what dynamics are at play here. You will likely be shocked when you realize what you are mentally telling yourself all the time. Most of us experience this, but we aren't even aware that it is going on.

Be vigilant about writing these down. You will be amazed at the breadth and depth of negative self talk your inner critic bombards you with. Take each statement and reverse it in such a way that it becomes a self supportive statement. Take the time to do this work; it will really pay off for you. Then, be vigilant about replacing each negative statement with your new self supporting statement.

2.) Learn to trust yourself and your opinions, wishes, and desires. This is not done in a selfish way, just a simple and honest way. Trusting yourself means trusting that "inner voice" (usually felt lower in the body than self talk--which is experienced in the head). This voice might warn us to bring our umbrella, or not walk down a certain street. It is very subtle and usually "mild mannered".

Don't confuse it with parental style admonitions. Some people call it a "gut" feeling because these feelings are frequently experienced in this part of the body. It can feel like a tension or "shrinking" if it's a warning or like a release or expansion if it is a "go" signal. Experiment with becoming more aware of these signals and trusting them.

3.) Self love also means being kind to yourself in a multitude of ways. Taking healthy care of yourself is important. This can mean excellent dental care, exercising, resting, eating healthy, paying attention to and getting care for your health needs. One way to think of this is to pretend that the care you give yourself is the care you would give a well loved child. Likely, you'd take the best care of a child. Why would you do any less for yourself?

Self love is the most direct path to healing, health, and success. It might seem at first that we all love ourselves, but there is likely residue of unloving behavior left over from childhood. You will be amazed as you start to jettison this stuff. Your life will become better, more satisfying and success will be a lot easier. It's a wonderful path to a better life!

About the Author:
Suzi Elton is a success coach working with highly creative types to create income that matches their talent. She has coached hundreds of clients to approach their goals strategically through tiny steps to bring about quantum leaps. Get free Life Purpose exercises, at http://mylifepurposecoaching.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Self Love--Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

Surviving as an Artist in a Rural Area

July21
Author: Bob L Cauley

As an artist I find it hard to survive in a rural area where I live now. When I lived in Omaha I had shows just about every month. Now that I live in the small town of Hugo, Oklahoma I find it very difficult to get shows. When I am able to get shows, they are far away and are very few & far inbetween. I now find my best outlet to be the internet. It is not as much fun as it does not get me the reviews like when an artist deals straight with the public. I have also noticed that my art is not selling as good on the net as it had in person. In fact I find most of my sales are going thru EBay & the art is not bringing as much as it had from shows.

As far as getting gallery representation when you live in a rural area as I do now it is next to impossible. Most galleries only want you if you are close to them. When I was in Omaha I had 2 galleries represent me. But when I moved away from Omaha, they no longer wanted to represent me because I was going to be to faraway. Most galleries that claim to be looking for new artists usually won't take artists that are not in their area. But if you talk to their employees you will find they always claim that, but in reality they have not taken any new artist in several years. Why they do this is beyond me! I have found when checking out a new gallery they are friendly until they find out you are an artist out of their area, then they seem to put on another face.

It seems it is harder for artist to sell their art, get gallery representation, or even get articles written about them nowadays than in the past. In the past art was something that was considered newsworthy and most newspapers were glad to print the articles and give reviews about shows. These days that is not so, it is very hard to get local newspapers to print much about art or artists. They claim that there is not a public interest no matter how good the story may be. National newspapers and newspapers from New York, Chicago, Atlanta and big cities as such usually still give reviews of art and artists.

To put it mildly, as an artist living in rural areas, promoting your art is difficult. It takes innovation and intestinal fortitude in order to be able to get recognition as an artist and to sell and promote it. But with the high cost of fuel and the high cost of shipping art it may now be that the only way to survive as an artist is the use of the internet with all its many connections and downfalls.

About the Author:

ARTIST'S BIO


On May 9, 1960 in the small town of Langdale, Alabama, there was born the eldest of six children Bob L Cauley. He had two brothers and three sisters. At the tender age of eleven, he had to go to work in the cotton fields to help support the family. His family was sharecroppers and migrant workers. Due to having to help support the family financially, he had to drop out of school in the seventh grade. But when he was grown and married with children, he went back to school and received his GED. He then continued his education and received his Associates Degree in Business Management. Over the years, he has worked many of jobs from sharecropper to Business Manager and has had many successful ventures in owning his own businesses.
In 1998, Bob and his wife Judy began collecting and studying art pieces. Bob has always been fascinated with art since he was a child. With a stressful management position at this time in his life, Bob decided to create his own artworks as a way to relax. In 2000, he left his management position to devote full time efforts towards his art. Bob has been primarily inspired and influenced by Jackson Pollock and the Impressionists. Bob considers himself to be a self-taught impressionist and abstract expressionist. He has experimented and used many different media. But is personal preference is oil on canvas. He has devoted countless hours of reading, studying, experimenting, and hard work to create his artworks.
Bob has participated in twelve solo shows and twelve group shows since 2001. He has attended five juried shows. In the second juried show he was in, he won an Award of Excellence. His third juried show, he achieved Best of Show. His fifth juried show he won Judge's Choice Award. In a short time, Bob has proven to be an accomplished visual artist.
Bob currently lives in Hugo, Oklahoma with his wife and children. His plans for the future involve improving his art skill and techniques. He also plans on exhibiting his art as often as possible in the future. His art can be viewed online at http://www.bobcauley.artspan.com.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Surviving as an Artist in a Rural Area

The Art Of Creative Business Success

July21
Author: Cynthia Morris

The Starving Artist myth proliferates because it is often accompanied by that other myth: creative people aren't good at business. With these ideas circulating, it's easy to see how artists struggle to succeed professionally.

But I don't buy these myths. In fact, I believe that artists and creative people make the best business people. Here's why.

Artists are experts in seeing the big picture. They can hold an expansive point of view. This creative perspective, this ability to see what isn't there and to relish possibility, is key to business success.

Good artists are adept at pinpointing the details. A painter knows the difference between cobalt and azure, a writer uses specifics to describe a character, and a sculptor's strokes will make all the difference in the end expression on a sculpture.

Artists and business people are willing to risk. There is no guarantee in art, business, or life, but creative people take risks every time they go into the studio. In fact, any art worth its salt takes the artist and the viewer outside the realm of the known and shows them something new.

Artists are able to dwell in the unknown. Art making is the biggest adventure there is. If you do not know what you are creating, if it will appeal to anyone, or if you will make any money at all, you're in good company with both artists and business people.

Business and art are fueled by a high level of passion. Any advice on running a business will preach that you need to be passionate to fuel the long stretches of challenging times. Artists thrive on passion.

All of these characteristics give artists an edge over others in the business realm. It's great to be fueled by the knowledge that you do have what it takes to succeed, and you also need to operate in a business-like way to make it happen. Here are the keys to business success that I have used and enjoyed.

Vision. You have to want your creative success from a deep, deep place. What is this about for you, anyway? Have a vision for yourself and your business. Write a vision statement that springs from your values and passion for your art.

Commitment. In a business or art career, there will be plenty of ups and downs. It's important to have a solid commitment that you can return to when times are tough. You will question this commitment again and again, but if you have a clear sense of your commitment at the beginning, the dips will be navigable. Write a mission statement for how you will fulfill your vision.

Follow through. Most success can be attributed to those extra actions we take - sending a thank-you note, making a call, going the extra mile, or researching a tip. Follow through is a key factor in being able to maximize opportunities, build connections and deliver on your promises. It's also a key to being perceived as professional and on top of things.

Build authentic relationships. Do business with people that you want to be around. You want to be able to be yourself with your support team (accountant, banker, coach) and your clients (gallery owners, editors, clients). Connect with people who share similar values, interests and art forms. Some people say that building relationships is the key to success, so become a master at being a good human with others.

Maintain self-care practices. Making art and building a business is a lot of work. There can be a lot of stress involved with art and business, so having a stable personal life is key. Know your needs and do what you can to get them met. Know what helps you release stress. Make sure that you have play time, too, since it can be easy to work all the time at your art business.

Perspective. This is the secret weapon. Perspective is the most powerful tool we have. How you see the world, yourself, and your enterprise all have an enormous impact on how successful you will be. If you can shift your perspective easily, you'll have a much broader range of options available to you in your art and business. Practice noticing throughout the day what perspective you are operating from. Does it feel good? Bad? In between? How does the perspective of any moment contribute to your work?

Systems. And, of course, for business success, you'll want systems for operating your enterprise, for marketing your work, and for handling all the money that comes your way. Contact systems, marketing systems, bookkeeping systems, and ways to catalogue your art and record your sales are all essential for a thriving business.

If some of these essentials make the artist in you cringe, take that as an opportunity to see where you could grow. I can't think of any other work that challenges us to grow more than art and business. If you want to stay safe and unchanged, you'll want to choose another path. But why would you? Art and business are grand adventures!

About the Author:
Cynthia Morris of Original Impulse helps writers and visionaries make their brilliant ideas a reality. Author of Create Your Writer's Life: A Guide to Writing with Joy and Ease, and Go For It! Leading Tours for Fun and Profit, Cynthia coaches from Boulder.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - The Art Of Creative Business Success

posted under Artful Careers, Balancing Life And Art, Finding Your Creative Self, Promote Yourself Online, The Business of Art | Comments Off on The Art Of Creative Business Success

The Challenge of Writing an Artist’s Statement That is Artistic and Deep But Also Makes Sense

July21

By Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

Often, while viewing other artists experiences with their creativity, defined by pen to paper within their "Artist's Statements", I find myself thinking, "This reminds me of man trying to define God by putting creativity into a box." Oft times too I wonder, "What the heck are they talking about? I wonder if even 'they' even know."

I have met all kinds of artists. I always hope that I will share some kind of phenomenon with fellow artists, of an unmistakable vibration we both generate and feed off of. I hope that our connection will cause us to reach new heights and feel compelled to go home and create great things. I rarely come across artists like that, they are as different from one another as anyone.

I really do believe there is an 'energy' within art, colors, and it is that energy about a piece of art that people resonate to.. or not. Some only like only my precise artwork, of which I feel are renderings and not in my personal opinion, 'true art'. It tells me that we are not connected in a 'spiritual' sense. We connect on other levels though so consequences of that kind of thinking are not something that needs to be brooded over, on the outside chance you find my opinion offensive or objectionable.

I think a lot of 'art talk' is mumbo jumbo, and is as redundant and boring as the latest football player explaining how his team is going to win the next game. Yet, I also think there is a need for the artist to describe the connection they feel with their art. Doing that, helps the viewer to enter their world, as well as the artist to understand 'what the heck happened' to cause them to create what they did.

Creativity is elusive, but the more we enter that gate, the more we find ourselves in the presence of something truly remarkable. I think the vibration of colors, coupled with the spirit of the dance of creative action, can be found in all kinds of art and no one has the market on that. Once in a great while we come across genius like Leonardo da Vinci and we stand in awe. Because of miraculous adventures of the soul, in any genre, it is our responsibility to pursue the unknown. Leonardo da Vinci only scratched the surface. Pursuing the vibrations of the elusive is often an alone experience. It is within that 'prayer' of sorts that mystics are uncovered. There are many ways of doing it though, as there are religions, so I don't think anyone has the key to it all.

So how do you do it? How do you write an "Artist's Statement" that makes sense? First define who you are within your work in your own mind. If you do not know, you won't be able to write anything at all that others will comprehend. Be careful of the mumbo jumbo, but write out your heart as you look at your work. You may just discover a part of yourself you had not met before. Take your time, discover who you are. Remember da Vinci as well, nothing he did was done without extreme confrontation of what it was he was looking to explore, so laziness is not acceptable. Right? Yes!

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz: http://www.monkdogz.com/chelseagallery/artistart/Magnusen/artist_magnusen.htm

My newest website: http://www.kathyostman-magnusen.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kathy_Ostman-Magnusen
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On Becoming an Artist

July21
Author: Charles Griffith

How does one become an artist? It makes sense to start with this broad topic, rather than the fundamentals of drawing, painting, etc, because this is the basic framework for everything else. To say that a person is "born" to be an artist is a romanticized cop-out. Some people may have a greater aptitude for learning the craft, but the inclination towards art is shaped by a person's experiences and the influences they encounter in life. I could easily be a jockey today if I had grown up around the race track. Instead I grew up in an environment where artistic and intellectual pursuits were encouraged.

In it's most basic form, the desire to create art is all that's really needed in the beginning. But to pursue art as your life's work, to be a "serious" artist, requires a well-rounded foundation, one built upon a broad range of knowledge and experiences.

Art reflects the world around us, and often the world within us. The old advice to "paint what you know" is certainly valid, but just what do you know? Most take this maxim to mean that you must paint or draw your backyard, your neighbor or your dog. I "know" these things too, but I also "know" history, literature and mythology. I have traveled in a number of countries; I have been in the military. I know my life, and I know something of myself, too. This knowledge is reflected in my work.

Writers are encouraged to write as much as possible from their own experiences so that it sounds authentic. Why should a visual artist be any different?

The wider the range of your knowledge and experiences, the deeper and broader your art will become. Exposure to great works of literature and philosophy have given me new ways to look at life and the world, as well as giving me ideas for new artwork. It has allowed me to see how others have viewed these things before me. Some artists have been optimistic; others cynical; but every age has had both optimists and cynics, demonstrating a continuity in human affairs. Both art and psychology tell us that whatever you feel, others have felt the same way you have. The more you read and study, the more you'll see this too.

The more well-rounded a person you are, the finer an artist you'll be. It's "cross-training" at its most intellectual level. This also applies at the more technical level, when developing the actual skills for creating art. To create fine art requires mental focus, patience, discipline, superb hand-eye coordination, well-honed decision-making and problem-solving skills. It requires you to be a good student, one who knows how to study and practice. It also demands the ability to look at your work objectively, not an easy task. I spent a year or two playing and studying chess many years ago, and found that it improved my drawing ability, probably because chess demands so much concentration and foresight. And if you are an artist that works in a representational style, try studying and working in a more abstract style for a while, and vice versa. You'll gain a greater understanding of both.

Da Vinci and Michelangelo were remarkably well-rounded individuals who could think logically, practically and analytically, thanks to their activities in engineering, architecture and the sciences. They applied these skills to their art, and the results speak for themselves. I can think of no better proof for my contention than of these two extraordinary men.

I think it would be helpful now to address the merits of being a formally trained artist, as opposed to being a self-taught artist, such as myself. There can be no doubt that a school trained artist has a considerable advantage over one self-taught; you have someone knowledgeable to ground you in proper technique and help you to correct your mistakes. The self-taught artist must go to great effort to be as constructively critical of his work as he can, concentrating extra effort on the areas in which he is weak, something that will be difficult for some.

But I think all students are ultimately self-taught; no one can make the effort for you. And I have seen many works by academically trained artists that are so formulaic that they look like they came out of a paint-by-the-numbers kit. The self-taught student may fall into improper practices if he isn't careful, but he may be freer in his artistic expression than his school trained friend. Keep in mind that Van Gogh was largely self-taught, receiving only minimal classroom instruction.

I don't want to scare anyone away from pursuing art; as I said before, all you need to start with is the desire to start. But gradually, bit by bit, you may find that expanding your sphere of knowledge and experience will improve the quality of your work, and your life. This all reminds me of the criticism that students have perennially made -- why should I study geometry, French. Latin, etc., when I'm going to wash dishes or mow grass for a living? You're right -- you don't need these studies for everyday accomplishments. But creating fine art is not an everyday accomplishment --it is an extraordinary endeavor that requires extraordinary abilities. I hope that my thoughts here can be of help to you in developing these skills.

About the Author:

The artwork of the author, Charles Griffith, can be found at
http://charlesgriffith.tripod.com/ and he can be contacted at
charles_griffith@lycos.com .

Charles Griffith's interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - On Becoming an Artist

Overcoming Artist’s Block (part 2)

July21

By Gail Miller

Once you are ready to start working again you will know it instinctively. All artists go through periods of 'creative block' - it's normal, but after one such episode there are ways of stimulating ideas and getting the creative juices flowing again.

Visit your local library and take out books that cover materials, techniques and subjects that are not familiar to you. If you are a watercolour artist, why not try oils for once? If you paint large acrylic abstracts, would it be possible to try soft pastels on a smaller scale? What results could you achieve by doing something completely different to what you're used to?

What about trying collage or mixed media work? Take photos of your neighbourhood, family or friends. Local places of interest, the countryside, the seashore, the city. Manipulate your photos on your PC and print out as digital art. Use the images, either natural or manipulated as collage pieces. It is so therapeutic cutting pieces and sticking them down. Use a range of materials to finish your work.

Instead of going straight back to paintings or drawings on normal scale, why not create some miniature pieces? How about greetings cards? White card 'blanks' are very easy to source. How delighted family, friends or customers would be to own an unique hand painted card.

Try drawing for once instead of painting, if that's your usual medium, or vice versa. Fill a sketchbook with small quick sketches. You could even time yourself. Three or five minutes maximum for each sketch.

When you're ready to go full size again, try loosening up your technique, by again setting a time limit for each piece of work you create. With a deadline to meet, you will speed up and loosen up. Try not to be precious with your art. Be quick and bold - see what happens.

Paint upside down. Start a new piece, then half way through turn the paper or canvas round 90 degrees. This is a great technique for abstracts. Use new colours - let them flow into each other. Splatter colours onto the wet surface. If you like, you could turn the work once more to finish. What a great way to create 'happy accidents'.

Paint or draw to music. Use only your emotion to make marks on the surface of your support. Play your favourite rock, pop or classical music, let the melodies and rhythms wash over you, influencing how your artwork evolves. I often paint to 'Smile' by Brian Wilson .... and boy do I get inspired!

What about painting left handed if you're a right-hander and vice versa. Trying to do a representational work with your weakest side will produce art that is still yours, but will have a completely different edge to it. Challenging and great fun to do ... if you have the discipline!

Finally, once you get back into full flow, remind yourself of all the artwork you have created successfully. How appreciated you are by your customers. Read their testimonials. Feel that glow again, when you realise that your creativity block was only temporary and that there are fans out there just waiting for you to release some wonderful new artwork into the arena.

Gail Miller is a professional artist whose artwork is a visual feast of colour and fun. Her fascination with bold colours and fluid, expressive shapes and line are evident in funky abstracts, sinuous nudes, vibrant still life paintings and lively townscapes. Visit her website at http://www.gailmiller.com

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Overcoming Artist’s Block (Part 1)

July21

By Gail Miller

How many times does an artist stare down at that blank piece of paper thinking "What on earth do I paint - Where do I put my first mark?" More often than you would imagine! It happens to all creative people actually, from visual artists, designers, poets, through to musicians and writers.

When this situation arises, you are in the grip of creative block. When you wrack your brains to come up with ideas but just can't seem to. There may be contributing factors to this state, such as tiredness, depression, environmental, physiological or psychological issues. On the other hand you could just be experiencing a period of simple low creativity.

When this happens there are a few things you can do to restore your creativity levels at will, however what you must not do is worry or fret about it. If the worst comes to the worse and you don't seem to be able to produce any work, simply regard the period as a 'holiday' or a rest. Your creativity level WILL rise again. In the meantime, utilise the time spent not creating to do positive things anyway.

Research other artists' work. Visit galleries or surf the net and see what other people are doing. Join artists' chat rooms or visit message boards or forums where you can exchange ideas and views with other artists. Just talking to other creative people can give you a real buzz! You might even make some new friends in the process.

Spend the time you are not actually producing art, by increasing your marketing efforts. Send postcards to galleries, research upcoming local art fairs or events where you could possibly take a booth to sell your art. Have some leaflets or brochures printed up all about yourself and your work. Take a couple of days out of your schedule and do a local neighbourhood leaflet drop.

Update your website or online portfolio. You may think it's already perfect but it's not often that things can't be improved or sharpened in some way. Update your artist's statement; put new 'zing' into your descriptions.

If you really can't face doing anything concerning your own artwork, visit the theatre, go to a pop concert, browse local museums. Go to a restaurant or coffee bar with friends and have a (non art related) natter.

Use the time to take a complete break, if this is what works best for you. You will instinctively know when the time is right to 'go back' to your art. When this happens there are lots of techniques you can use to get back into the swing of high creativity. These I explore in my article 'Overcoming Artist's Block (part 2)'.

Gail Miller is a professional artist whose artwork is a visual feast of colour and fun. Her fascination with bold colours and fluid, expressive shapes and line are evident in funky abstracts, sinuous nudes, vibrant still life paintings and lively townscapes. Visit her website at http://www.gailmiller.com

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Permission To Be An Artist – Granted!

July21
Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

Since I've been offering Artist Retreat Day programs, I've been hearing a lot about the concept of "permission". Some artists who said yes to a retreat day shared that this was a much-needed structure to enable and empower them to FINALLY give themselves permission to take time for their creative work.

Others just couldn't say yes, just couldn't give themselves permission.

What does it mean to have permission to do something? My thesaurus tells me that other words related to permission are: consent, sanctioning and authorization.

Consent signifies agreement, validation that what you're doing meets with specific expectations, criteria and guidelines. It sounds solemn and like someone has faith in you. Sanction is an even more formal declaration of acceptance and faith.

AUTHORIZED TO CREATE

Authorization well, that implies that you're something special. That not just anyone is meant to be painting this painting, writing this song or designing that jewelry. You have been specially authorized to do it.

And why? Because you have the unique gifts that are necessary to bring that creative project into being. Who authorized you? The same power that granted you those gifts and skills whether you choose to think of that as God, the universe, Spirit, or another name. As we read in the Science of Getting Rich, we're not given the desire to do something without also being given the skill to carry it out.

Why is it so difficult to authorize ourselves, grant ourselves permission and consent, to sanction our own creative work? Sometimes we seek this permission from others, unconsciously (or consciously) hoping they'll deny it, so we won't really have to venture into the scary world of living up to our potential.

A lot of these words symbolize that external permission is needed. And sometimes it is.

PERMISSION FROM OTHERS

Whether you want to attend an artist retreat day, meet a deadline or just develop a new idea that came to you overnight, you'll sometimes need permission from the people you share your life with to take the time for your creative work.

It might mean delegating household work or child-care or rescheduling a date or planned event. All of you might also need a willingness to be flexible and to accept that sometimes things don't get done right away. It also means ensuring an environment of support for your work.

Will others give you permission? Of course you can't control what anyone else thinks, says or does, but consider this: our loved ones will take cues from us about how serious our creative work is to us. If we're constantly putting it on the back burner, putting our work down, and letting it be the first thing to go when things get stressful or busy, we're teaching others to treat it the same way.

If we don't take our creative work seriously, why should they?

PERMISSION FROM SELF - ARTIST AT WORK

I think what's even more important is the permission we give ourselves. There are so many reasons we deny ourselves permission to pursue our creative work. Fear tops the list. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of what people will think of us, fear of being good, fear of being terrible, or fear we'll let someone else down, to name a few examples.

Sometimes we hold on to earlier instances when we were denied permission, denied access, not sanctioned or authorized, or when our work was criticized or belittled. Some of us have even been told, directly, NOT to pursue our creative work ("don't give up your day job", "find another path", "you have no business doing this work"), which hung a big UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS sign on the door of our creative hearts.

So hang a new sign on your creative heart one that reads "Artist at work". And in fine print, "This work has been sanctioned by _______" (the name of your source of Power).

10 Signs That You've Given Yourself Permission To Be A Creative Artist

  1. The first words out of your mouth when someone asks "and what do you do?" are "I'm a songwriter/artist/sculptor/writer, etc.".

  2. You work steadily at your craft, whether it's working on or re-working pieces or promoting your work.

  3. You teach your loved ones to treat your art seriously.

  4. The materials and resources that you need to create with are part of your budget and are planned expenses every month.

  5. You're committed to your learning, growth and development, participating in artists groups and discussion forums and seeking out mentorship and coaching.

  6. You don't let mistakes or criticism stop you from taking your next steps.

  7. You're building the resources you need to support yourself financially, emotionally and spiritually.

  8. You're conscious of your physical lifestyle habits and choose the ones that won't interfere with your creative work.

  9. You find opportunities to pass on your knowledge and support wherever possible, to someone who's had less experience than you have.

  10. You consistently say no to requests for your time, energy and commitmentthat will take you away from your creative work.

It takes time and practice to consistently give yourself permission to create. Start today by improving just one of these ten creative practices.

C Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting http://www.genuinecoaching.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Permission To Be An Artist - Granted!

Making Tomorrow a Better Today

July21
Author: Miata Edoga

How do we define success? And, more importantly, what does it take to achieve it? For actors, those answers might be "Being a series regular on a night-time drama" and "Consistently honing my craft and auditioning regularly". For a photographer, they might be "Shooting a cover for National Geographic" (or Cosmopolitan, depending on preference), and "Constantly shooting in different conditions to increase my skill". It will differ from person to person, and from art form to art form, but I want to give you one key to what it takes that applies across the board, be it art, business, finance or sport:

"The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda… by the daily decisions I make, and the daily disciplines I practice" – Dr John C. Maxwell

I heard that statement in a lesson a few years ago, and it is something that has always stuck with me, because I fundamentally believe that it is true. Another way of saying it is that, if what and where I am today is a direct result of my previous actions, what I am tomorrow depends on what I do today. The problem is, most people underestimate what they can do today, and over estimate what they can do tomorrow.

Now, if you think about this for a minute, you will see how true it is. You constantly hear "I'll do it tomorrow". I know I say that, and then, when it doesn't happen tomorrow, it becomes "the next day"… then the next… then the next, until either we hit a crisis and do it at the expense of something else, or we just never quite get around to it.

Taking your acting career as an example: how can you book any jobs if you don't audition? And how can you audition if casting directors aren't seeing your headshot? And how are they seeing your headshot unless it is being put in front of them? So how many submissions are you or your agent making today? How many workshops are you attending today? What networking are you doing today? What are you doing today to hone your skill so that, when the opportunity arises, you perform to the best of your abilities? But maybe making that phone call to an agent is uncomfortable, so you put it of to tomorrow, and traffic is really bad tonight, so that networking event can wait… you get the picture.

The same is true in your artist development, and especially your finances. If I am struggling with debt, what can I do to get out from under it? Can I call the credit card companies and beg for a break? Can I tear up my bills, move, and hope they won't find me? You certainly could, but it wouldn't be recommended. Instead, wouldn't it be better to make more money, shave some money off your expenses, pay a little less in taxes, put a solid debt plan in place, and move forward freely than constantly worrying about how you were going to handle those student loans? (None of which is taught by acting schools !) Again, what expenses can I track today that can be used as tax deductions? How can a work a bit more today to make that bit of extra money I need to cover those expenses? How can I alter my spending habits today so that I have to worry less tomorrow? (For assistance with this, please email us at info@abundancebound.com with the title "Chart of Expenses", and we will send you a very detailed excel file to help break down your income and expenses, and identify where you could trim, what you need to improve etc).

By now you get the picture. Oscar Wylde said "every action of the common day makes or unmakes character", and, beyond that, everything you do today effects where you will be tomorrow.There are two kinds of pain in this arena: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. Now, especially when it comes to our finances, we can play now and pay later, or we can pay now and play later. The problem is, payment compounds, and increases with time and missed opportunities. So if you suffer the pain of paying now – of discipline, of doing the things you need to do long after the mood in which you said them in has gone, of paying attention to your actions today – you will get to play a lot longer in the end.

All of this is a process. No-one expects people to flick a switch and suddenly have amazing organizational skills, perfect credit and financial savvy. Just like getting fit takes time, so does this. The important thing is that, as you take your journey into financial education , you are not alone. Abundance Bound is there to help you any way we can, and we very much look forward to the opportunity of doing so.

About the Author:

Miata Edoga is a working actor, as well as being President & Founder of Abundance Bound . Inc, the financial education company for actors & artists. Her vision is to develop a community of artists able to pursue their creative goals free from the crushing weight of financial stress.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Making Tomorrow a Better Today

Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 1 – Discovering Your Purpose

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

There is no such thing as a "small" job. Each function within our society aids our detailed technical lifestyles and well being. From a store clerk to a business executive, each position is an intricate part of the matrix of our world. We rely on these functions without even realizing their value or contribution to our daily activity. Each person has there place and each person has their purpose. The key is discovering and taking the time to find out what exactly you are to contribute to the world.

What is even more challenging is that often we are presented with serving multiple roles in our lives besides just our "purpose." We are parents, workers, spouses, and children. All of which demand time and effort from our daily lives. What is important though is that we balance our time and our roles to nurture our purpose and inner abilities. It takes time and effort to discover your goals and ambitions, but it is a quest that need not go unnoticed.

A common excuse for not nurturing our talents is that we are too busy with other activities. When in actuality perhaps we have over extended our time and resources. Take a moment to sit down and note what in your life takes up your time. And then after you make that list, make a column and mark what is a priority, what really "has" to be done. Be sure to note how much personal time you get outside from all your other responsibilities. Start out small and see if you can allocate at least a half hour or an hour of your time a day devoted to yourself without interruptions. Use this time to evaluate the path of your life. Are you doing what you want to be doing right now? If yes, what could you do to further your progress? If no, what do you want to do?

Use free thinking in your evaluation. Free thinking means there are no limits. You can dream to be anything you want to be. Think about what you would like to do whether you were paid or not. Think about what makes you feel good as a person. Maybe you like the arts or maybe you like to work outside. Compare your aspirations with your current life situation. Are you close to your goals or are you far away?

Once you have addressed your aspirations, make notes in a special notebook dedicated to just you. It is great to see your ideas take formation when they hit the paper and also it is a great way to look at your progress on days where you may feel there is none. Plus you will need a notebook for further steps as well. Feel free to personalize this notebook and make it attractive for yourself.

Don't feel guilty for taking this special time for yourself. Understand that your commitment to yourself will reflect off onto others. By bettering yourself, you become better in all the roles and commitments you hold. It is when we stop to listen to our true selves and the nature of our lives that we are able to create abundance in our environment and those around us. What you are doing is investing in a personal foundation.

If you only have a half hour or an hour a day, make a list of what you want to accomplish with that time. So once the clock starts ticking you are ready to be productive and work on your goals. Time management is good practice right from the beginning. So when you do figure out what your purpose is, you will be ready to use every minute you get efficiently.

Once you figure out where you want to go or what direction you want to take in your life, then take the time to research… research…research. Research is a crucial element of developing your career strategy. Go to the library or do a search online for the topic you are interested in pursuing. Find out what tools you will need to start your purpose. Will you need additional education or training? Will you need a business loan? Or will you be using your own personal resources for the start up? Don't let money issues stop your progress. Remember knowledge is the currency here. There are ways to accomplish your purpose on little to no funds.

Remember real life purposes take real life work. Sure some people get lucky, but often others have to really dedicate themselves to their success. Have an open mind during this self evaluation period and the rest will follow. Most importantly, be patient with yourself the same way you would be patient with another person. Secondly, perseverance is essential in the formula for success. You have to be willing to make a serious commitment from day one to yourself. Your ideas may change form along the way, but at least you are continuing to reach towards self fulfillment.

As a summary for this step's exercise, write it down, take a pen and paper and make a personal inventory of your ambitions or the things that you are good at and enjoy. What do you feel passion about? What would you want to do even if you didn't get paid for it? Second of all, be honest with yourself. Don't feel ashamed or guilty to recognize your talents… after all that's what they are there for, to be recognized. It's up to you to release them and share them with others. Make your purpose, your business.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 2- Getting From Point A to Point B

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

In my previous article, Step 1, your challenge for the month was to research where your passion lies. Based on your research you might have discovered that self investigation can lead us to two places; either we find out our answer or we realize we need to ask more questions to get that answer.

Finding your purpose takes great effort, but can be effortless all at the same time. It seems that once we begin pursuing that in which we were intended, everything falls into place. But the matter we have to realize is that time plays a great role.

Sometimes people are over night successes and others have to nurture their purpose for years to come. Keep in mind though, as long as you enjoy what it is you are pursuing and the motivation you have is strong, than that alone will sustain your ambition and provide your passion longevity.

Remember you are making a commitment to yourself. You should treat that commitment the same way you would treat a marriage or devoted friendship. The key is to value yourself the way you value others. Having a good attitude from the very beginning can make the difference and not only affect your career, but the people around you. Self dedication does show and the commitment will be reflected in your professional life and relationships.

Assuming you now have a general idea of what you would like to do, now you need to visualize how to get from Point A, where you are now, to Point B, where you would like to be. Sometimes it is easier to set up a structure for your business if you look at the large picture of your purpose and where you intend to be in the future. Granted your ideas and goals change as you change, but your general purpose will usually remain the same, it just branches out.

Now that you have researched what you want to do, take the time to research what others in your area of interest have already done. Conducting market research will allow you to get a feel for the industry you are entering. It's important to see what is out there. Look up trade journals and magazines. Really put some effort into getting involved with your career and learning about it. Every career has an abundant amount of resources available and a lot of that information is free. If you see a trade journal or magazine that you like, sign up for their newsletter. This will help keep you updated on industry events and trends.

Reading and researching can be one sided tasks. Sometimes it is easier to learn about your career by actually interacting with others in the field. This can be done on your own time instead of regular business hours thanks to the internet. Now you can find chat groups, users groups, and forums and you are not limited by time zones or borders.

One of my favorite resources is Yahoo Groups at http://groups.yahoo.com/. You can look up any particular subject and find a group where you can discuss some of your career objections. This is an excellent way to network with your peers and experts in the field. It is not uncommon to find a lot of other "newbies" in these groups as well as professionals. The most important thing is to not be afraid to ask questions. If you don't know what questions to ask then reading over the archives of a group is a great place to start. Groups vary in size and subject so what I suggest is to join a couple to see which ones fit your personal needs.

Another resource you can use is ListServ lists http://www.lsoft.com/catalist.html. Typically you subscribe through your email client to a discussion group within your field of interest. You can also do a search for "listserves" or "user groups" on the internet to pull up a vast amount of sites that list an array of groups. Not all lists are treated equal so again use your own judgment when joining.

I also personally like forum communities. You can often search for "forums" online to find one in your career field. It's a great opportunity to share your discoveries as well as learn from others. Not to mention you can do several searches within a forum and read old posts. This is a great way to see other member profiles which often reference their personal or business websites. Some forums even have a 'members' section that lists all their members profiles. Any profile with a "www" by their name usually has a live link to their site. Be sure to take the time and visit these sites for reference.

When you are visiting other people's websites in your field, I advise you to check and see if they have a links page. I have found so many great resources through other people's links pages. Also it helps you get an idea of what sites you can possibly request link exchanges from in the future.

By networking with others and conducting your own market research, you will gain a better sense of direction and get an idea where it is you want to be in the future with your career. If you see a website that you like, bookmark it. Then once you have collected enough information, go back and review your favorites once more. Ask yourself what do you like about it? What information was useful to you? Was the site visually appealing? Was the site easy to navigate? If not, what would you change? What information would you add? Take notes, write your thoughts down and remember… patience plus perseverance, equals purpose.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 3- Organizing Your Resources & Collections

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

In our previous step, Step 2, you were challenged to get active and network with other professionals in your field. By now you should have an abundant source of resources to reference and help you mold your personal aspirations. You should have a collection of bookmarks of peer's and organization's websites.

You can really gather a lot of information in a short amount of time when you are dealing with the internet. So I recommend keeping organized with your information right from the start. If you are keeping track of your information in a notebook, adopt a method to keep it orderly. Maybe have your notebook sectioned into topics, for example, 'references,' 'organizations,' 'peers.' If you are bookmarking your reference information through your browser, organize your list by assigning them to folders. This option is usually listed under your favorites menu, typically called 'organize favorites.' Do whatever makes sense to you and will help you easily retrieve the information you need in the future.

Organization doesn't just stop at notebooks and bookmarks. It goes much deeper than that. Make sure you are personally organized before you start our next challenge. Clean up your workspace. Take care of your priorities or any tasks you may have been procrastinating. The key here is to not just clean out your physical space, but mental space as well.

Now we can start working on creating your collection. Your 'collection' is going to be the foundation of your purpose. If you are creating art for example, it would be your artwork. If you are a writer, it would be a collection of your writings. If you are intending on being a merchant of other sorts, it would be your product.

So the first question to ask yourself would be: do you have a collection? If you do, now is the time to organize your work. Again, maybe break your collection into groups, organize your work by likeness or by time frame. This can be done by simply creating categories and assigning your work to the appropriate heading. This will help you set the stage for your web presence. Now is the time to keep in mind some of the sites you went on in our previous step. Think about what sites were easy to navigate and what sites were not. Did you like how a particular site was organized? What did you like about it? Apply your answers to your own concept of organization.

If you don't have a collection, then now is the time to work on acquiring one. Establishing a collection does not happen over night. So be patient with yourself and set realistic goals. My very first website was created by a friend of mine when I lived in California, before I started designing my own site. The first collection was composed of only 13 works of art, but it was a start. Now seven years later, I have a collection of around 160 paintings. You don't have to have an extremely large collection of works or products to get started. One of the best things about opening a store on the web unlike a brick and mortar store, you don't have to have a large product line. Granted it helps, but it is not always necessary. The key here is quality not quantity.

Once you have your collection created or organized you can now work on the information side of your collection. Assign your collection or product names, titles, or SKU numbers. Write up descriptions for each piece or group. Be as informative and descriptive as you can. Put yourself in the consumer or viewer's place and think about what information you would need to know in order to make a proper buying decision. You do not want to be vague here at all. Your description not only aids your buyer, but it also protects you as a seller. Describing your product or service honestly, prevents any likelihood of surprise to your buyer. As a result you should have less returns and refunds and more customer satisfaction.

Once you have developed your collection or product sheet, make a column for pricing. Pricing can often be the most challenging task of designing a web front mainly because you are being asked to place a price on yourself and your own value. This is especially true if the services you provide are rendered creative. A normal or typical marketing tactic is to research your competitors and get an idea of the market value of your product. If you are working in a creative field or freelance field you can search for guilds that offer pricing guidelines.

After you get an overview or others' pricing then you need to realistically figure out what it will cost you to perform your services. You want to consider the amount of time you spend on a project, the cost of materials, the tax you will have to pay, and the cost of shipping and or transportation. Your cost may be very different than your competitors. Pricing is a personal choice and decision, so base it on what you believe the item to be worth. You want competitive prices, but worthy prices. The biggest mistake I see creative people make is under pricing themselves. Buyers believe they get what they pay for, so make your pricing valuable to them.

Develop a confidence in your work, but back that confidence with experience and knowledge. Believe that what you are creating has a value to more people than just yourself. Most importantly, be excited! Your enthusiasm will be conveyed in every area of your work. If you are not excited, then you need to go back to step 1 and reevaluate what your purpose is.

Your challenge for this month is to get organized in your personal and mental space, organize or create your collection, and then write effective descriptions for your works or products. During this process, continue to network and continue to learn and you will develop your path… your purpose.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 4 – Organizing & Developing Online Content

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

Step 4 – Organizing & Developing Online Content

If you have done your homework then you are ready to organize and develop what will be your online content. Your content is very important as it will be used for promoting you, your work, and your website. Content serves a variety of purposes; it displays public relations, target marketing, and general information to build a platform for your product (your purpose).

One of the main items that need attention would be your biography. If you are an artist or writer, you will get asked for this pertinent information every time you make a submission or apply for competitions. Your biography is an essential piece of information that often can get viewed prior to your work. Even if your target audiences are publishers, agents, or clients, you have only one chance to intrigue them and make a good first impression.

There are several ways that you can address your audience. If you would like to be up front and personal, you can write in first person, using "I" in your sentence structure. For example, "I was born in Silver Springs, Maryland." If you want to have a general sound or professional structure, you can write in the third person, referring to yourself as stated in this example, "Meilena Hauslendale was born in Silver Springs, Maryland."

It's really up to you on how you would like to address your audience. I personally prefer writing in third person when referring to my work mainly because I feel it conveys a sense of professional etiquette. It creates a press release persona that can maintain your audience's attention. However, if you prefer to write in first person you can do that and still have strength to your sentences. Either way you want to spark your audience's interest in you and your work.

The difference between a how a hobbyist or a professional artist or writer can be determined simply on how they are conveyed through content. You want your sentences to have strength and power to them. Each word and phrase counts because they are performing a difficult task, representing you, when you are not there to do so. For example you could say, "I'm an artist from Erie, PA. I am trying to make a living doing art. Hope you will look at my work." This sentence hardly provides any credibility to my name or my art. It conveys that I am not really serious about what I'm doing, but I still would like you to look at my work. That's a lofty expectation to have of my audience when I lack taking myself serious.

A professional sentence structure as an example, "Meilena Hauslendale was raised in Erie, PA and began her career as a professional artist in 1997." You want to state who you are, where you come from, and what it is you do. You want your opening sentence to really state a few basic facts about you and your work. This is not an easy task and perhaps one of the reasons why many artists and writers procrastinate completing a biography. Perhaps one of the reasons why, just as Alan Wilson Watts states, "Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth."

It's quite the challenge to write about yourself and really expand on your talents. You have to convey your work and yourself from almost another person's perspective. Imagine yourself as a Public Relations Specialist and you were just hired to write about an artist or writer. What are some things you would need to know about that person? What strong points do you want to enunciate about this person's life and accomplishments? What active role does this person assume now?

You don't have to be overly personal but you really want to give your audience a sense of who you are. Let them know how you began your career. Write about your technique or your style. It is possible to be personal but also professional. You may have to work on several drafts until you get a nice flow of words and a functional biography. The time you put into writing this valuable piece of information will pay off by getting people to take notice in something very dear to you, your purpose. So share your passion with your audience. You just may notice that your enthusiasm might be contagious.

You want to have a short version (100-150 words) of your biography and then a long version (500-1,000 words). It's advisable to work on your long version first so then you can easily copy a short version by taking excerpts. As an example you can view my biography online: http://www.meilena.com/portrait/?q=biography. I had a shorter version posted several months back, but because of numerous requests to know more about me, I had to rewrite it. You may experience similar feedback from your viewers. The long version will be for your website and the shorter version will be used for promotional websites that commonly limit your biography to 100-150 words.

You can also write a statement about your work. A statement simply is a personal claim about your work or perhaps on what inspires your work. Get creative here and really just type what you feel you need to express about your creativity. I was asked for an artist statement back in 1999. I had no clue what that was but I wrote one down. I've used the same statement ever since. You can view it online to get an example: http://www.meilena.com/portrait/?q=biography

Take time to really write down your talents and accomplishments and don't be afraid to express them in your content. The more people learn about you, the more they will be able to relate to you.

Your challenge for this month is to create a full length and short version of your biography. As a bonus create an artistic statement if you would like. Read other artists' or writers' biographies and ask yourself which ones interested you and then explain why. Which biographies had strong statements, which ones were weak? Then take that information and apply it to yourself. Evaluate what traits you want to express, organize an outline, and then write your biography.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Meilena_Hauslendale
http://EzineArticles.com/?Making-Your-Purpose-Your-Business-Step-4---Organizing-and-Developing-Online-Content&id=26802

Natural Artistic Talent Myth Plagues Fine Art World

July21
Author: Eric Hines

The subject of talent and creativity has been mired in a healthy amount of confusion over the last century. Plaguing the art student, the instructor, and even the accomplished artist.

Until recently, like the majority of contemporary society, I too believed that to be a fine artist one had to be born with an abundance of artistic talent - you either had it or you didn't.

I would imagine that this would be the reason behind my working as an art dealer and owning an art gallery in Los Angeles, instead of being an artist and selling my own works of art.

Today I am quite relieved to find that, even though I was not born with a large currency of innate visual artistic talent, such talent can be acquired and developed.

I can imagine that quite a large number of this article's readership disagrees - perhaps some vehemently - with that statement.

This is why I am bringing in someone exponentially more qualified to address the confusion on the subject of talent which has permiated societies around the art world for 100's of years.

I didn't just find any art instructor to help sort this out, Larry Gluck has been teaching others how to draw and paint since 1975. His 20 Mission: Renaissance fine art studios are currently teaching more than 3,000 students every week. His unique method of instruction, known as The Gluck Method, is also taught in various colleges in America.

So without further ado here is Mr. Gluck to help dispel this "talent myth..."

"I'm not very creative, I have no talent.If you had a dime for each time I heard a student tell me this before I got their agreement to enroll for drawing or painting lessons you would be quite wealthy.

Perhaps you too believe you lack the "artistic gene" or "special gift" called talent. Let's get real about this thing called talent, shall we?

Talent implies a degree of skill or ability. Ability in any field can be acquired. Were you born with all the talent and skill required of you to perform in your current career?

Of course not, you acquired the skills you needed in order to perform. Would you be able to acquire the skill to play any music instrument you wanted too, or would you need to be born with this skill?

Like anything else, you can learn to draw and paint beautifully. The only requirements then is a desire to procure the technical skills and a teacher to provide you with workable instruction.

Moreover, people often confuse talent with creativity. Each is extremely important, it takes both combined to create art, but they are not one in the same.

The dictionary defines 'create' as; to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve by ordinary processes. Create is what evolves from one's own thought or imagination, to bring about, as by intention or design. Creativity could easily be described as what one imagines and then produces using one's skills.

People use their skills to bring their creative concepts into the real world for others to see. The painter observes a spectacular view. He imagines painting it in vibrant colors. Thus, using his talent and skill, transforms his original idea onto canvas, it becomes a 'real' painting.

Not all of us are born with an affluence of talent, however all of us are born with a goldmine of potential artistic creativity. It is imprisoned within all of us. We have only to free it.

Natural artistic talent alone is not enough. Those who possess natural talent, an instinct for color, the ability to draw an excellent likeness, are frequently thought of as gifted. However in life, innate ability often turns out to be more of a liability than an asset.

It is often found that the Natural doesn't know how he does what he does. Natural talent, devoid of understanding, can be unreliable. One small failure can shatter it.

The Natural may eventually invent "reasons" as to why he can perform only some of the time. Examples are the author who must drink to write a good story, or the painter who "knows" for a fact that he can only paint when Saturn is transiting Orion.

Unfortunately artistic talent and creativity are not properly married in the majority of fine art instruction curriculums. Studying under the Italian portrait master Giuseppe Trotta ' a classmate of Picasso himself, graduating from The Pratt Institute in New York, and founding the world's largest fine art program for drawing and painting instruction, have provided me much insight into art education.

I have seen both sides of the talent and creativity coin hobby-horsed in colleges and private art instruction programs. Rarely have I seen both sides given proper merit simultaneously. On the talent side of the coin you have the art teacher who will ignore any form of the students creativity. The music teacher, believing all great music was originated hundreds of years ago, who disallows any original work from students.

On the other hand, focusing on creativity alone, you find the art teacher who applauds the unrecognizable blob of paint smeared across the canvas. No fundamentals are taught, thus there is no improvement in the student's artistic ability to reproduce what he or she envision in their mind.

In developing talent one should begin with the fundamentals of drawing and sketching; the proper technique for holding a charcoal pencil, how to create depth and realism, the ability to capture light and shadow...

Once the ground work for these fundamentals is thoroughly laid the precise principles that underlie all drawing and painting skills can be taught.

This does not stifle originality, but instead provides the best possible environment for it to grow.

When the fine art student has both a solid technical foundation and strong nurturing of creativity, they are then capable of producing what they conceive in their mind.

And that is exactly where any artist wants to be."

About the Author:

Eric Hines has worked in the field of art for over a decade as a musician, art dealer and is currently employed by Mission Renaissance , the world's largest drawing and painting instruction program in the world. He is currently taking art classes to how to draw and paint , very soon he will be selling his own art work and not just the works of others.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Natrual Artistic Talent Myth Plagues Fine Art World

Make it a Masterpiece

July21
Author: Rhoberta Shaler

Developing an authentic lifestyle--one that truly reflects what is important to you in all areas of life--is a work of art. It is your personal statement to the world. Are you creating your masterpiece with both the intention and attention a great artist gives her creation?

Reflecting on the ideas and manipulating the materials over time, the artist begins to clarify the vision and, as the piece emerges, watches, refining her ideas, adding this, discarding that, reworking, until the materials begin to match the vision. Once the realization of the dream is glimpsed, work accelerates, and joy and passion carry the piece to completion. Isn't that much like our lives?

Few artists receive their inspiration from attempting to fulfill someone else's idea of what the clay, paint, rock, notes, words, fabric or wood might become. Imitation in art is only the tool of the student as the techniques are learned. The truly authentic work of art must come from within the artist, through the techniques and media, into reality.

Similarly, you cannot live the dreams of your parents, the desires of your friends or the visions of another with passion and integrity.

Great artists understand that their art is their personal expression, and is, therefore, unique. The artist values the medium for its potential to express the idea. The artist works diligently with it-- keeping the vision in view, making small adjustments, learning new techniques, experimenting--until the vision emerges in concrete form and becomes an extension of the artist. It is visible then to all who care to look. The piece bears the artist's name and influences all who view it.

Sometimes, pieces do not please the artist and they are reworked, painted over, melted down, unraveled. These pieces have great inherent value. The artist's vision is clarified, the materials better understood. This contributes much to the next project, the next work of art.

Sometimes, pieces become a legacy and influence many by their existence. These are the authentic works, the true expressions of the artist. These are the quality pieces, as Willa A. Foster, says, "Quality is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."

You want your life to be of quality, filled with wise choices. Therefore, approach it with high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.

When creating a work of art, you must be present with it, fully engaged each moment, totally absorbed by the possibility you are actualizing and the potential you are exploring. This intense focus is required if you are not to be distracted by the myriad of seductive, and easy to justify diversions. It is a powerful process uplifting, inspiring, sometimes frustrating, satisfying, and, most of all, creative. When you are making a success of something, it s not work. It's a way of life.

Now, if by chance, you are thinking that viewing your life as a work of art, or a lofty contribution to the world, is impractical compared to a factual time-management, goal-oriented, bottom-line approach, please consider this. Every successful business, organization and corporation has two types of leaders, visionaries and administrators. Both are required. You need to be both visionary and administrator in your own life, to live a life of integrity, of wholeness.

After all, would you prefer your life to be a fleeting statistic, or a memorable piece of performance art?

By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

www.SpiritualLivingNetwork.com

About the Author:

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, has helped thousands to see life differently. Dr. Shaler connects people with their authentic selves, their purpose and values, and provides insights and inspiration to overcome the challenges of personal, family and business life. To learn more, visit: www.Rhoberta.com . and join www.SpiritualLivingNetwork.com It's fr*ee.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Make it a Masterpiece

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